South Street Seaport’s effort to rework itself from a rowdy vacationer vacation spot to an precise scorching spot will proceed this month with the deliberate opening at Pier 17 of a brand new eatery by Michelin-rated chef Andrew Carmellini.
The chef behind Locanda Verde in Robert de Niro’s Greenwich Hotel is gearing as much as open Italian chop store Carne Mare on June 10 — the most recent in a collection of high-end eateries to take over the informal eating and fast-food eating places that after dominated the downtown Manhattan Pier.
Think Florentine steak, spicy lobster spaghetti and salt-baked sea bass wrapped in fig leaves served tableside and completed with fermented chili and dandelion dressing.
It’s a great distance from the times when the Fulton Fish Market dominated the world till it was compelled out in 2005 amid growth strain. While there have been efforts to revitalize Pier 17 after that, it was labeled nothing greater than a vacationer lure for years.
As a younger chef, Carmellini used to go bar hopping at midnight — ending up at the Fulton Fish Market at 3 a.m. to buy.
“It was great, but grungy, with Burger King and Yankee Candle Shop,” he stated searching on the tall ships on the water in entrance of the Pier. “Nirvana even did an early grunge promo shot outside Pier 17.”
That’s been altering since Howard Hughes Corp. scored a candy deal in 2013 to lease the Pier for a mere $1.2 million a 12 months — alongside with different large and generally controversial growth plans for the neighboring space, together with its historic district.
The Pier’s transformation began in earnest in 2019 with The Fulton by chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten. There’s additionally Momofuku’s Ssam Bar, Malibu Farm, Heineken Riverdeck and The Greens — Pier 17’s rooftop that became a popular destination last summer because of its socially distanced garden chairs.
There’s additionally Cobble & Co., a gastro pub and a backyard bar, alongside with regionally owned, impartial eating places, like Seaport House.
Still to return: Chefs Wylie Dufresne and Josh Eden, opening an all-day cafe at close by 1 Fulton Street.
Last month Carmellini opened Mister Dips — burgers and smooth dip cones. Opening day on May 27 “was full — despite the rain,” Carmellini informed Side Dish.
Of course, the world’s try at a renaissance comes at a tough time. The Seaport, which relies on the workplace lunch crowd and tourism, was a ghost city throughout lockdown. And many New Yorkers nonetheless keep away from it instinctively.
Carmellini stated: “A lot of people, even friends, say, ‘You’re opening in the Seaport, really?’ I say, have you been down there recently?”
Some critics additionally disapprove of Howard Hughes’ transformation plans, which include a 324-foot tower on the site of a parking lot at 250 Water Street that was technically designated a historic landmark.
Said one actual property and restaurant insider: “They [HHC] feel like, if they build it, people will come. But their corporate culture is about a real estate play to turn a parking lot into a tower, without adding to the district’s soul.”
Others, nonetheless, help the modifications. Lawyer and restaurateur Kian Khatibi, a South Street Seaport resident, says he launched close by Seaport House, a 72-seat, 2000-square-foot eatery situated on Front Street, which is barely away from the Pier, final fall partly due to HHC’s funding within the district.
He says each vacationers and locals have been returning to the world in current months, together with Alba DeMichael, a 44-year-old FiDi-based designer who has turn into a Seaport House common.
“I was passing by and came in — and I’ve been coming back ever since for the seafood and cocktails,” she says.